How old is your old? I'm 46...using a Nokia 1520 because it is damn near huge at 6". I can see things pretty well now...I can't go back to a smaller phone, because I just can't read anything on it!
Surface Pro. I do like it.
The keyboard is nice. As you said, not ground-breaking. But as opposed to a lot of iPad keyboards, "it just works." Snap it on, snap it off. Is it Bluetooth? Honestly, I don't even know. I just know it works well. I assumed the connection was hardware based due to the 5 pins used for the connection.
Not specifically to you, but to many other commenters on this thread:
YES, there are other devices that can do THIS, or THAT. And YES, you can outfit an iPad with a whole bunch of different things to make it similar...but that is not the point. The point is that this is a very convenient device with the connectivity that I need/want. I can kludge together a super-duper tablet but that's not my aim. I much prefer the simplicity of buying something that's fully functional on day 1 and doesn't need anything else to be useful. (Insert comments about the keyboard not being included...)
I can pick up my Surface, with the keyboard as the cover, and go out into the world knowing that I am fully equipped to deal with whatever comes at me. A laptop would serve the same purpose, but it would probably be bigger (My Dell XPS 15 is great...but too big!). Most tablets are missing out on half of the features I need.
Also- I'm now a small** fan of Miracast, which is fully baked into Windows 8.1. There are still a lot of problems with it, but I've walked into a couple of situations with Miracast enabled monitors that I used and was happy with. It's nice that I don't need to add anything to make it work. And it's odd that my Surface is the 'it just works' machine, while iDevices need add-ons and software to make things happen.
**I wish my wireless displays would automatically re-connect, but I can imagine a lot of security based reasons not to do this.
I don't think you understand my 'ingesting photos' item. I connect my camera to my Surface via USB. Shots are immediately on my Surface. In fact, I don't even save them to the SD card, they are saved directly on the tablet. I have have 'Live View' on, to see exactly what the camera sees. This is NOT something that can be done over a network right now. Additionally, most of what I do isn't within range of a network...even cell.
I really am a 'mobile worker'. I go out an do stuff...away from networks and people. I carry as little crap with me as possible. Camera, Surface and USB cable are pretty standard.
Possibly when vineyards are networked I'll be able to work differently.
Example of what I do: http://imgur.com/a/xQ040 (I am not a pro photographer- just an IT guy who knows how to use a camera well enough to document things.)
Glad you mentioned HVAC.
I can plug into our greenhouse climate control system (like HVAC * 10). USB only...
USB isn't dead.
USB is important for a few reasons:
#1- ingesting photos. OR even better, tethered shooting. Cameras use USB ports for data transfer and control of the camera. The time to preview pictures is while you are taking them, not when you return to the office. Not saying you can't do this with other platforms, but you can do this with EVERY camera using Surface/USB.
#2- Printers. Sure, wireless printing is great...sometimes. Again, most every printer works with USB. I've been visiting other locations, need to print something and the IT guy rolls his eyes when he sees I need to print a document from a tablet. Once he sees Surface/USB it's like, "Oh..okay, no problem, plug in here." Nobody wants to install some stupid app to let me print.
#3- Wired networking. Again, wireless is great- but sometimes it is not an option. A wired network dongle has saved me a few times.
#4- odd peripherals. Just last Friday I had to provide a butt-ton of files to a lawyer for 'discovery'. They provided an external hard-drive (Aegis Padlock Drive). USB...sure, plug that sucker in and I'll give you all the files you need.
In a professional environment I don't always have control over what I need to connect to. USB has been the most ubiquitous port over the last 10 years. Not having it on your computer locks out out of a LOT of stuff.
My Surface Pro 2 runs Photoshop just fine. Admittedly I don't use it as my primary editing machine (screen size) but when I need it, it is there. Not sure why you say the Surface is underpowered, I would say it is 'run of the mill' in performance. In 2013/2014 that means, "It is an absolute breeze to do photo editing." Also, the fact that the Surface Pro is an awesome digitizer, with a pen, is icing on the cake.
I'm not saying the Surface is the be-all and end-all, but it has features that are fantastic. Most of the detractors obviously haven't used one in a professional environment...where an Android tablet or iPad just don't do what I need them to do. Including having a USB port.
**Someone felt that I was trolling. I'm not a troll, just a person who enjoys using their Surface Pro for work and entertainment. Also, my previous job had me purchasing a LOT of equipment (1,800 users) and I spent soooo much money on iPads it was amazing. Most of those were deemed totally useless once the novelty wore off. I'm just trying to steer people toward what I feel is a very good solution to the mobile computer question.
Surface user here to respectfully disagree. The Surface is an awesome device that can be used for all sorts of good.
When people see me using my Surface as a tablet, they are then amazed when I show them the USB port (so simple...but why not on iPad?) and keyboard. Yes, the keyboard seems strange at first, but I really do use my Surface about 50/50 keyboard on/off. I've been popping that thing on and off for a few years and I really like it.
When people see me using it as a laptop, they are then surprised when I take off the keyboard, pop out the kickstand, and use it as a movie viewing tablet. OR, when I am out in the field and pop open Photoshop express to do some quick photo editing with my fingers. In about 6 seconds (really) I can have a photo cropped and 'shared'.
You are right, it is a tablet that wants to be a laptop, and a laptop that wants to be a tablet. Not cheap by any means but worth it for me.
I can tell you that from my perspective, this is the best device in either the tablet or laptop class for my use. Previously my Surface was also my desktop- but a new job brought on a ridiculously over-powered desktop that I would be crazy not to use. Now my Surface spends the day as my music player until I need to go out, then it is my usual note-taker.
***All that being said, we have a few other SP2's floating around in my organization that are barely used because people have no idea what they can/should be doing with them. Some were purchased after they saw my 'success' and I really want to say, "hmm...maybe you should have gotten an ipad..."
Going along with the story...
I use a Surface Pro to connect to my Canon camera for macro shots. Super cool, full control of the camera, tethered shooting (straight to Surface) which is then automagically uploaded to SkyDrive. Full screen preview, editing on the Surface, etc.
I can do tons of work directly on the Surface, really works out nice.
Every day I swear that I will "Strangle the next person that calls this an iPad", but that hasn't happened yet. But each time someone does that, I take the time to point out the USB port, the fact that it can run full Photoshop, etc. etc.
iPads were a cruel joke played upon people who thought they were getting a device that could actually DO something. iPads are great for consumption, but once you move beyond NetFlix, they are not good for much.
My wife signs all kinds of documents for me.
I accept documents that are signed, but I've never met the person, and I probably won't. I don't have any sort of official signature to compare against. For all I know, someone else other than the 'human authorized' signed the document.
Physical signatures are not perfectly secure. The expectation that digital signatures must be perfectly secure is naive.
I think that society is looking for a 99.9% solution- knowing that there will always be a way to cheat the system. The amount of effort to make ANY system perfect is just not worth the trouble.
I disagree with your comments about the puppy picture. It is not an apology at all, it is a VERY effective means of communicating with your users.
I *do* use this method. I have pictures of cake, a cartoon alien, a dumpster, etc. throughout my systems with different pictures having very specific meanings (to me).
Every error gets emailed to the developers, and also logged, so there is a lot of 'professional' stuff going on behind the scenes.
But here is a scenario I've been in before...you are sitting in a meeting, and the conversation turns to your newest creation, when one of the people says, "I was using the system this morning, and I got an error." Which could be a show-stopper as far as an positive discussion is concerned.
But then they add, "It was a piece of chocolate cake." To which I respond, "Okay, thanks for letting me know about that- I'll get it fixed ASAP."
The conversation moves forward, because confidence was restored in the system. The user did not have to talk about, "I don't know what it said- some computer gobbley-gook," which I would respond with "I will look into it."
With the cake picture, the user tells me everything I need to know, in a very simple and easy to understand way.
Well, that makes sense...since IE6, IE7 AND IE8 have more market share than Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome combined.
Not saying it is right, just saying it makes sense.
Just a guess (being that this is Slashdot, it is a fairly educated guess) you spent high school playing computer games, NOT being the captain of the football team. (So did I, so I don't have any problem with it.)
But the point is...the recruiters are going to tell you ANYTHING to get you to join the military.
It's a sales job, and flattering you is part of the job. I wouldn't believe anything a recruiter says. In fact, if you had signed up, you'd know that the entire military jokes about it constantly. "What? Did you believe your recruiter?"
I'm not even disputing the information you are putting out, just pointing out that your source is notoriously bad.